Posts from Social Media Alleging a Taiwanese Vessel of Fishing Illegally within Namibia Clarified by Taiwan’s Fisheries Agency
In response to the posts on PTT and FACEBOOK dated April 18 alleging that KAO FENG No. 101, a Taiwanese vessel, operated illegally in the marine protected area of Namibia, the Fisheries Agency of Taiwan has launched an investigation. It is confirmed that KAO FENG No. 101 is a vessel duly authorized by both the Taiwanese and the Namibia Governments, and the relevant regional fisheries management organization to operate in the water of Namibia. The Fisheries Agency of Taiwan therefore would like assure everyone who is concerned of this case.
With the authorization of fisheries authorities of Taiwan and Namibia, Taiwanese fishing vessels have entered into charter arrangements with Namibia in accordance with relevant management measures of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). In addition, such arrangements are duly reported to ICCAT as well. At present, there are 2 Taiwanese tuna longline fishing vessels, KAO FENG No.101 and KAO FENG No. 372, chartered by Namibia. The duration of charter arrangement for KAO FENG No. 101 is from 22 July 2019 to 31 August 2020, and from 1 November 2019 to 31 August 2020 for KAO FENG No. 372. During the aforementioned period, those 2 vessels are allowed to operate within the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of Namibia.
To effectively manage fishing vessels flying Taiwanese flag, the Fisheries Agency of Taiwan establishes a 24/7 Fisheries Monitoring Center (FMC), and requires every fishing vessel, including tuna longliners, to install onboard the vessel monitoring system (VMS), hourly report its position, as well as report its catch data through the electronic logbook (E-logbook) system. Upon learning the posts from social media, this Agency immediately checked the positions of KAO FENG No. 101 from April 16 to 17. It is found out that the vessel in question has regularly and normally reported its position to the FMC. Furthermore, the track as well as the E-logbook data of the vessel show no sign of fishing.
This Agency also inquired the concerned fishery company. The operator stated that KAO FENG No. 101 has carried a fisheries observer onboard pursuant to the request of the Namibia Government. The vessel was in the marine protected area of Namibia only for transporting the fisheries observer to the place designated by the Namibia Government for disembarkation. Hence, the allegation that the vessel fished in the marine protected area is not true.
Taking the Responsibility to Jointly Combat IUU Fishing
The Fisheries Agency indicates that the international community shares a common goal of responsible fishing as well as combating illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing. As an indispensable part of the world, the Taiwan Government will continue conserving marine living resources together with the international community. Further, the fisheries industry of Taiwan will comply with applicable rules as always, with the aim to jointly conserving fisheries resources.
Contact person: Deputy Director-General Kuo-Ping LIN